These days collaborative work has become more and more common. Companies can greatly benefit from cross department alignment, sharing results of different projects, and strong ties between employees. As a result of this cross-team collaboration, companies deliver more integrated service, improve the overall efficiency of their teams, and easily share useful knowledge and information. Microsoft Teams – is one of the tools to manage collaborative processes. It’s being more and more used and especially due to Covid-19, many organizations have been deploying fast without any Governance.
In fact, more than 75 million people use Microsoft Teams during their daily activities. With relevant teams, channels, and integration of additional apps, you can build a strong organizational structure. Microsoft Teams adoption allows you to engage your staff with projects from different departments, to increase your business’s productivity and to mitigate the desire of your employees to stick to ungoverned tools.
For those who are involved in Microsoft Teams Projects, there’s always the topic of Governance that real pain. On the one hand IT would like a high control, on the other – a high adoption… I don’t know an IT Team who is not struggling with that topic. This is what the article is all about, and you’ll see, there’s a solution to this big issue.
The challenges of Microsoft Teams Governance
Using powered software according to your business needs is a great way to manage your company’s internal activities. But how about the Governance policies and ways to control the usage and collaboration silos?
In each organization, you try to find the right balance between your end-user adoption and IT control. However, it’s hard to accommodate both needs.
On the one hand, you can empower your IT control to manage new teams’ creation and achieve operations transparency. For example, you can restrict teams creation for your end-users and control each collaboration silos. But in this scenario, your employees won’t be able to enjoy all the features Microsoft Teams has to offer to its users. And instead of a structured workspace, you will get lower productivity and miscommunication between your team.
On the other hand, you can give complete freedom to your end-users in terms of teams creation and provide them with full access to Microsoft Teams tools. Your staff will now be able to use Microsoft Teams according to their needs and collaborate efficiently on different projects. However, in this case, you risk creating thousands of uncontrolled teams that could be misused or duplicated.
So, are you still trying to find the right balance between your business and IT needs? How can you provide the Microsoft Teams Governance for Microsoft Teams? Let’s first dig into why we do think like that in the industry.
The issues with Business Context and Microsoft Teams Governance
Finding the right Balance for your Microsoft Teams Governance is almost impossible. You certainly know that. It’s all in control, or all in open.
What’s interesting in the reflection, is to wonder why we have this way of thinking. Opposing these 2 things, always. Isn’t there another way to govern things? To design your Governance?
I’m deeply convinced about that. We do have this way of thinking due to the lack of 2 things.
- The lack of the business context
- The lack of a mechanism that could apply the right governance to the right business context
Governance Issues Examples
If you knew that a team is dedicated to all the executive committee members, you would put a high control, making sure the team stays private, adding a creation approval workflow, making sure that only leaders or executive assistant are able to create those teams, etc. At the same time you can include managers into each team to manage conversations and track projects results. Of course, you face with different level of accesses and settings.
Next team is dedicated to collaborating on a recruitment session with managers and interviewers, you would know that it contains personal data such as CV or motivation letter, and there force that this particular team is subject to GDPR regulation. It would be great to automate this process, when you are obligated to delete the data after a certain period. In addition, you would limit the potential creation of those teams to manager or HR only.
If you knew that a team is dedicated to organizing events then you would know that there’s nothing critical. Only logistics information would be shared with external people. To set this system correctly, you should not only create a separate team, but also collect the right critical information from different teams and departments. It’s important to automate and manage this process properly
So let’s imagine one second, that you have both things. The Business Context of each team and a Mechanism that can apply the right IT control to the corresponding Business Context. Welcome to the business Led Governance era!
The business led Teams Governance Model
If you have both things, then the more people are using teams the more you know about the business context. Then the more you know about the business context, the more you can apply the corresponding governance.
In this model, the Governance is not set at the organization level, but it’s set at the business context level. The business context determines the governance, this why it’s called the Business-Led Governance model.
So concretely, how to set up your Business Led Governance with Microsoft Teams?
Firstly, start with a use case. Define your business context and decide why you need teams and which business topics you want to cover. Here are some examples:
- Teams for the leadership team
- Recruitment Teams
- Teams to work on a project, etc…
You’ll find here a list of more than 30 use case to inspire you.
Secondly, this business context defines your governance policies – should you enforce the team’s privacy or give them full freedom. Set up IT policies that serve your business needs and provide a secure environment.
This is all our work at Salestim. Firstly imagined for Sales to improve Collaborative Processes around Deals and Key Account Management, we figured out that addressing better Collaborative efficiency for employees, we better address governance challenges. You must wonder how? With advanced Microsoft Teams Template technology. That’s what the next chapter is all about.
Microsoft Teams Templates to address Business Led Governance
Microsoft has announced templates capabilities in teams, which is great for all users across the planet. With this capability you’ll get teams created with the structure only, and it will help you in better organize teams. Still we’re seeing that for many companies, this is not sufficient to address Collaborative Processes and Advanced Governance scenarios?
With Microsoft Teams Templates by Salestim, you can create structured teams according to your business needs. Project Management, Sales Deal Room, New Store Opening, Construction Site and much more – everything depending on your organizational specialty. Just create the Original team with relevant Channels, Files and Folders, Ready to go Planner, and Tabs with any Microsoft or third-party apps. Create a Template from the Original Team and rest assured, everything will be copied. As a result, your team will get the fully provisioned teams.
It’s so easy to create your own template catalog for different scenarios. In this way, you let your end-users create prepared teams from a template in a few seconds with copied relevant channels, tabs, and settings. Avoid uncontrolled team creation and duplication without missing out on great user experience.
Moreover, you can apply Teams Governance Policies at the template level. During the template creation, you can set up governance rules to enforce and empower IT control without additional load for your IT department. You will get a safe environment, data protection, and multiple levels of access to solve each of your issues.
Microsoft Teams Governance
Let’s talk in detail about each business context and demonstrate how you can empower your governance policies at the template level.
During the Template creation, you can manage the Naming convention to avoid duplication and to structure your workspace. You can give a team name and description, build a welcome message, and even set up the Office 365 group e-mail at the template level. Set up naming rules with fixed prefix and suffix and Azure AD Attributes, depending on your needs or user’s data from geolocation to preferred language.
Here are some common examples:
Set up a fixed naming convention regarding teams at a department level to make sure it reflects the organizational structure the same way in different departments. Teams Naming convention would be:
- Department Name – Department”
- Department Name – Country – Department”
As a result, the person who creates a team from your template will give just the name of the department and the other part will be automatically added to show the essence of the team.
Another example – the possibility to set up a Dynamic Naming convention based on Azure AD Data. Let’s imagine you are opening stores in different cities. Thus, by setting Naming convention rules, a fixed prefix or suffix will be added to the team name according to the user’s location.
Learn more about all naming convention possibility in our blog
Private Channels Governance
Private Channels creation is a useful mechanism to protect your secured information and communicate on high-risk deals. But private channels governance and creation limitation constitute more challenges. With SalesTim you can manage private channels creation at the template level.
Firstly, you can create a template with private channels. It’ a useful tool if you would like to limit the additional collaboration silos creation. Just don’t allow the creation of the private channel at the teams’ level and let your users collaborate through private channels only from a specific template. Be sure, all private channels tabs and settings will be copied.
Secondly, you can restrict private channels creation in the original team. Thus, when using your templates, the end-users won’t be able to communicate and share documents with private channels in newly created teams.
Finally, you can add permanent private channel owners to manage communication and enforce privacy. You can be sure, every time someone uses your template, the defined manager will be automatically added as an owner.
Learn more about all private channels challenges and features in our blog
By setting the approval workflow you can empower your Teams Privacy. To limit the creation of new teams from your template you can set up additional approval. In this way, you will get the notification when someone creates a team from your template. You can permit or restrict the usage of your template.
Perform the same way as in the Approval Workflow tool with targeting rules based on your user’s profile data. For example, define who can use the template depending on the user’s location or even spoken language. In addition, you can limit the teams creation depending on your department structure.
Finally, you can even set up targeting rules by adding email or domain setup. Verify who can use your templates in accordance with different domain names and user’s email.
As a result, you get limited and structured teams creation from the template according to your organizational needs.
You can empower your security policy by membership management. During the Template creation, you choose which users will be added automatically to newly created teams. You can define permanent owners or members to perform the right team management and avoid manual tasks.
One more option that will allow you to limit and control teams creation is to set up additional security rules. You can define that new teams created from your template will be private by default. As a result, only owners of these teams will be able to add members.
Another scenario is the ability to choose whether the requester is automatically added as a team owner or only as a member. If disabled, the user will be solely in charge of his or her team and will have to go through all the approvals.
Microsoft Teams Governance is an extremely important step in Teams management. Oftentimes, organizations face difficulties when managers are trying to find the right balance between user’s adoption and IT Control. At SalesTim, we don’t think that you should find this balance. We offer you the solution with Microsoft Teams Template on the one hand and Governance Policies on the other.
Build Templates according to your business context in a few steps. And don’t forget to set up Governance Rules to empower your IT needs depending on the different access levels, organizational structure, and privacy protection.